G20 to back ‘equitable’ access to coronavirus vaccine
RIYADH, Nov 22: G20 leaders will pledge to "spare no effort" in ensuring the equitable distribution of coronavirus vaccines worldwide and reaffirm support for debt-laden poor countries, according to a draft communique seen by AFP Sunday.
The leaders also struck a unified tone on supporting "multilateral" trade as well as the global fight against climate change, but the closing document lacks firm details on many of the issues dominating the virtual summit hosted by Riyadh.
The two-day gathering that began Saturday comes as international efforts intensify for a large-scale rollout of coronavirus vaccines after a breakthrough in trials, and as EU and other leaders call for G20 nations to plug a $4.5-billion funding shortfall.
"We have mobilised resources to address the immediate financing needs in global health to support the research, development, manufacturing and distribution of safe and effective Covid-19 diagnostics, therapeutics and vaccines," the draft document said.
"We will spare no effort to ensure their affordable and equitable access for all people, consistent with members' commitments to incentivise innovation."
The communique offered no details on how the effort will be funded.
There could be changes in the final version of the document, which will be released later Sunday by the Saudi hosts.
In a comment echoed by other world leaders, French President Emmanuel Macron said Saturday the coronavirus crisis was "a test for the G20", stressing there "will be no effective response to the pandemic unless it is a global response". -AFP